CPRC in the News: Explaining why limiting gun magazines to 10 bullets is dangerous
Gun control advocates just can’t let go of Gov. Chris Christie vetoing of a bill limiting gun magazines to 10 bullets. Christie’s warning that the bill wouldn’t save lives might not be politically popular, but it was scientifically accurate.
Obviously, politicians aren’t supposed to question whether gun control works, especially not so bluntly. But Christie wasn’t going to support new laws just for the sake of “doing something.”
“This is the very embodiment of reform in name only,” Christie noted in his veto. “It simply defies common sense to believe that imposing a new and entirely arbitrary number of bullets that can be lawfully loaded into a firearm will somehow eradicate, or even reduce, future instances of mass violence.”
Christie’s reasoning has driven many critics crazy. Former Republican congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough slammed Christie as making one of the “stupidest arguments” he’s ever heard. In Sunday’s Star-Ledger (“One Gov. to another: A missed opportunity”), Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy took the unusual step of unloading on him in an opinion piece, calling the decision “appalling” and “callous,” accusing Christie of doing it for “personal political aspirations,” and that the decision defied “common sense.”
But there is a reason that gun control supporters, such as Malloy, don’t provide evidence that Christie is factually in the wrong. There have been plenty of studies on assault weapon bans by criminologists and economists alike, but there isn’t any evidence that limiting magazine size helps fight crime.
Take the work of two criminology professors, Chris Koper and Jeff Roth. They were hired by the Clinton administration to evaluate the original assault weapons ban, which limited magazines to 10 bullets. They found: “the evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect (i.e., that the effect was different from zero).”